ZZ Top will blast back to the past with Cinco: The First Five LPs, a box set whose title says it all.
The package, due out June 9, will include new 180-gram vinyl versions of ZZ Top's First Album, Rio Grande Mud, Tres Hombres, Fandango! and Tejas, created from the original mixes of the album rather than the masters from the heavily criticized 1987 package Six Pack.
For the Texas trio it's also a chance to remember its late manager, Bill Ham, who died last June 20 at the age of 79. Ham guided ZZ Top for much of its career, and despite an acrimonious falling out bassist Dusty Hill tells us that the group always appreciated Ham and his contributions:
"It's very sad about Bill, even though we haven't been together for a few years. I stayed in contact with Bill; He was a one of a kind person, very unique. Without himself...I don't see how we would've accomplished what we did. But not just that, on a personal level it...hit us very hard. It happens. Everybody goes...He was a power, a strength in the world. Love his heart."
ZZ Top continues its Tonnage Tour throughout the summer in both North America and Europe.
...Meanwhile, ZZ Top guitarist Billy Gibbons guests on Alice Cooper's new album Paranormal, which is due out in July.
Gary Graff is an award-winning music journalist who not only covers music but has written books on Bob Seger, Neil Young and Bruce Springsteen.